July 17th, 2007-- Posted at 6:00 a.m. CST
Sharp Co., Cherokee Village -
One of the biggest attractions to Sharp County is the beauty and the great area to retire. We want to show you Cherokee Village, known for its retirement community, but since the village became a city in '97, has it transformed to fit all the ages?
Mayor Lloyd Hefley gives us a little history.
"It was an idea by John Cooper. And he came here in 1954 and envisioned a retirement community and recreational area... And he made Cherokee Village with 15, 000 acres."
And they come from all over, like Pat Sasfai from Washington DC who has been living here for 11 years.
"We looked at several different places and its just the people here care about you even if they don't know you they just care... You can have a breakdown on the side of the road and all these little old ladies will stop and ask can I help you?... It's the people here, they just care about you."
She says its been a great place to retire, although it's sometimes hard work...
"I said I'm busier now than when I was working full time. Haha..."
Like Pat, many residents volunteer for groups and organizations like the Red Hat society who is helping the ACE group with recycling...
"It makes it a better place to live and it gets everyone involved and it just makes you feel like you're giving back to your community."
A community with everything you could want... Shops... Golf... Boating... 7 lakes... 2 rivers... 2 recreational facilities... And beautiful scenery. But Pat Sasfai along with the Mayor say it's not just a retirement community anymore.
"It's getting younger as time goes by... So it's a combination."
"I think back in the fifties it was designed to be just a retirement area, but now it's not like that and there are younger people here and it just makes you feel like it's not just a retirement community."
And that's the way they like it, everyone working together as a community no matter what the age. Mayor Hefley says it's only natural to want to be in Cherokee Village.
"It's just so beautiful that people come here naturally and this is the place they want to be. I do believe we have something for everyone and you can stay busy 24/7 with all of the activities that we have. But it really is a place for everyone."
In Cherokee Village, if you're a property owner, you become members to use the facilities, like the great pools and recreational areas. One member told us she bought a lot there pretty cheap. They love the amenities and cheap property taxes and pretty soon decide to move there, making it more than just a retirement community.
Here are a few links if you would like to know more.